I delved into the comments... *sigh*
Here's what I don't get:
The same drivers saying "Cyclists don't belong on the roads!" are also the ones who oppose cycle paths and lanes because, "Why should we spend public money for a minority group -- I won't use it and won't support use of my tax dollars to build them!" Well, sir, it would give cyclists an option for not being on "your" roads...
I liked the article, and it hit close to home since I live and ride in Chicago. It's SMIDSY city here at all times, especially since the cops don't seem to enforce hands-free laws. I scared a driver as I rode past and his car was drifting right because he had BOTH hands on his cell phone. I shouted in his open window "Must be a really important text?" and rode on.
But it isn't the motorists fault, its the lawmakers. The laws and antiquated and not supportive of the newer choices people make in transportation. Which sucks as I am also facing issues having a recently experience that I was ill informed on how to handle, even my auto insurance (which covers me on a bike) didn't know how to handle it.
Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....
It's both ironic and sad that the article mentions Vulnerable User laws in WA state since they don't actually get enforced here.
Just yesterday, this: Person who hit and killed Caleb Shoop in Kenmore gets $175 ticket | Seattle Bike Blog
Car culture is our religion and the car is our god.
A few dead bicycle readers are a sacrificial offering to our deities.
Motor vehicle drivers kill and maim a lot more other motor vehicle drivers and passengers than cyclists. Perhaps we should focus advocacy efforts to include all road users, not just us particularly vulnerable ones...
RCW 46.61.526: Negligent driving ? Second degree ? Vulnerable user victim ? Penalties ? Definitions. ) specifies who is considered a vulnerable user - and Caleb Shoop seems to qualify, and that the motor vehicle driver acted in a negligent manner that caused death or great bodily injury - which seems to be exactly what happened.
I think the problem is more likely that 1) police and prosecutors aren't very familiar with new laws, such as the vulnerable user law, and 2) prosecutors are concerned that they won't get a unanimous jury verdict to convict when at least some of the jury members are likely to think that they themselves might someday be careless when driving and find themselves in the place of the defendant. Advocates can hope to make good headway with the first issue through their efforts, but the second problem will be much tougher as long as the jury pool is almost entirely composed of people who drive on a daily basis (and frequently under varying degrees of distraction) but haven't been on a bike since they were kids. As a result the jurors are likely to have significant empathy for the defendant and be hesitant to vote for conviction.
(1)(a) A person is guilty of negligent driving in the second degree if, under circumstances not constituting negligent driving in the first degree, he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.
Negligent driving — Second degree.
(b) It is an affirmative defense to negligent driving in the second degree that must be proved by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, that the driver was operating the motor vehicle on private property with the consent of the owner in a manner consistent with the owner's consent.
(c) Negligent driving in the second degree is a traffic infraction and is subject to a penalty of two hundred fifty dollars.
(2) For the purposes of this section, "negligent" means the failure to exercise ordinary care, and is the doing of some act that a reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstance.
Sometimes its hard to remember the law isn't about right or wrong, its about the law.
Since that failure to stop resulted in the death of a vulnerable road user the necessary conditions for RCW 46.61.525 were met and the additional penalties should apply. But whether a jury would find the defendant guilty is a separate question as I mentioned previously.
It doesn't get any easier, you just get faster. - Greg LeMond
This thread has lost it's way and descended into a mess. Please find a way to redeem the original topic or close the thread.
Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
IMO anyone that drives drunk as that driver did, puts him in the catagory of premediatated murder!!! Of course it wont bring back the life of the cyclist, but that driver needs to be punished to the full extent of the law.
How about a full 10 years in jail, and then 10 years of house arrest where he cant leave his house. Have a GPS cuff on him to assure he stays in his house. That way his family will have to support him and not the taxpayer!!!
It is sad, IMO, that drivers can get away without facing charges they should face because laws are vague, or leave the matter up to "touchy-feelly" emotional responses of having a juror made to feel they could be in the defendants position. I'd hope a civil case might be made to assist the family of the deceased but if you lose a criminal case, the civil may not be easy won.
Because of the rising incidents in Chicago I am getting a camera to helmet mount or put somewhere. I already had one run in and because I wasn't prepared, I am stuck with a busted bike. Luckily my car insurance covers the small medical issues that arose.
Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....